A 2-Hour Dare-Devil Act! Lady Veterinarian Dr Meghana Pemmaiah Rescues a Leopard Stuck in a 25 Feet Well in Niddodi near Kateel, on the outskirts of Mangaluru
Mangaluru: You all might have read articles/stories in Mangalorean.com on a local animal lover named Ms Rajani Shetty, saving dogs, cats, reptiles, birds and other animals either fallen into a well or stuck in marshy locations, but here is yet another daring rescue operation taken up by a woman veterinarian to rescue a one-year-old leopard having stuck in 25 feet well for nearly 36 hours. This rescue operation took nearly 2 hours after the leopard was sedated and brought up from the well.
It is learnt that Vet Dr Meghana Pemmaiah armed with a gun, darts and other required items, sat inside a cage that was lowered into a 25-foot-deep well, sedated a leopard stuck for 36 hours and pulled the animal into the same cage in a dramatic two-hour rescue operation near a house in Niddodi off Kateel, about 35km from Mangaluru. When the forest department couldn’t rescue the one-year-old leopard after several attempts over two days, it summoned the help of “Chitte Pilli”, a wildlife rescue and research centre in Mangaluru.
The rescue team of ‘Chitte Pilli’ comprises veterinarian-couple Dr Meghana Pemmaiah and Dr Yashaswi Naravi, and experts Prithvi Salian and Nafisa Kausar. Knowing that it was a tough job to get into a well to rescue a wild beast, Dr Meghana accepted a courageous gauntlet to go ahead in the rescue effort to save a leopard. Speaking to the media Dr Meghana said “We had to keep many factors in mind: The leopard was starved and dehydrated for nearly two days; we couldn’t get her clear image from above; the forest department had tried to rescue her with ladders and a cage. More importantly, the leopard was in a cosy spot and not willing to come out.”
“I was confident that the cage was secure enough and the leopard couldn’t attack me. We knew we had just one chance. Once the cage was lowered, I realized I was lucky since the leopard was sitting in a good position for me to dart. Though the leopard was continuously growling, I immediately loaded the injection and went for the first shot. I was lucky again that in the next 15 minutes, the leopard was sedated. That was only a part of the job. Then I tried to haul the leopard into the cage. When I failed, a local youth climbed down and helped me in getting the leopard into the cage. After he went back, I was pulled out of the well in the cage along with the leopard. It feels good we rescued her (leopard) in our first attempt and it was a well-coordinated effort with forest officials and locals.” added Dr Meghana.
Meanwhile, Dr Meghana’s husband Dr Yashaswi had called the forest department rescue centre around 9.30 am on Sunday. The department had the guns for darting and made all arrangements. “The leopard was aggressive and tried to attack when attempts were made to pump out the water,” said Dr Yashaswi. It is learnt that the rescue operation started at around 10.30 am on Sunday and ended around 1 pm, and within a short time, the leopard was revived. After finding that the leopard was quite okay, it was released into the wild forest on Monday. The ‘Chitte Pilli’ team was also guided by ACF of Moodabidri Range Sathish N, RFO Hemagiri Angadi and DRFO Manjunath Ganiga, belonging to the Forest department Rescue Team.